Addameer: Israeli forces beat child Tarek Abu Khdeir, court extends his detention

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association issued the following statement on the detention and beating of Tarek Abu Khdeir and 10 other children and young men in Shu’afat (translated from Arabic):

Tarek Abu Khdeir, following beating by occupation forces.
Tarek Abu Khdeir, following beating by occupation forces.

Occupied Ramallah. July 5, 2014 – Mohammed Mahmoud, a lawyer with Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, said that Israeli forces and undercover units arrested 11 children and young men from the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Shu’afat, the hometown of the child martyr Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was kidnapped, killed and burned by a gang of settlers last Wednesday.

Among those arrested was the 15-year-old child, Tarek Abu Khdeir (a cousin of Mohammed Hussein Abu Khdeir), who was arrested by a special unit in front of his family home in Shu’afat at 8 PM on Thursday and severely beaten on the head, chest and back. He was not transferred to the hospital for treatment until after midnight.

A lawyer with Addameer, who represented the child Tarek Abu Khdeir before the Magistrate’s Court on Friday, said that the beatings he received were severe enough to kill him, and cause severe injuries to his face and bruises on his head and chest. Despite this, the Magistrate’s Court refused to release him and extended his detention to Sunday for interrogation, stating that he may flee the country as he is an American citizen.

The lawyer said that despite the judge viewing the reality of torture and attempted murder as recorded and documented on a video of the brutal beating suffered by the child, and the medical report submitted by Hadassah hospital, they chose to extend the child’s detention, risking him being exposed to further physical and psychological torture at the hands of interrogators in the Moskobiyeh interrogation center.

The lawyer said that the judge also extended the detention of ten other young men arrested by the special forces and undercover agents last Wednesday in Beit Hanina and Shu’afat after the demonstrations denouncing the kidnapping, killing, torture and burning of the child Mohammed Abu Khdeir.

Among those arrested was Amer Ali Hassan, 21, who was severely beaten with a gun to his head and face and remains hospitalized for treatment, and did not appear in court due to his injuries; the judge extended his detention until Monday.

Addameer represented the following prisoners at the hearing:
1. Tarek Abu Khdeir, 15, Shu’afat, subjected to brutal beatings;
2. Karim Abu Khdeir, 21, Shu’afat, severely beaten, detention extended until Monday;
3. Amer Ali Hassan, 21, Shua’fat, severely beaten, hospitalized, detention extended until Monday;
4. Fathi Shawish, 30, Shua’fat, beaten, detention extended until Monday;
5. Nasser Abu Sabih, 21, Beit Hanina, beaten and arrested in Shua’fat, extended until Sunday;
6. Khaled Abu Sneineh, 22, Beit Hanina, arrested in Shua’fat, extended until Sunday.

Jerusalem has experienced since last Wednesday wide-ranging demonstrations against the heinous crime committed by settler terror against the child Mohammed Hussein Abu Khdeir, which have been attacked by occupation forces, who have arrested dozens of young men, wounding 200 including children with various injuries due to rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas.

Addameer is deeply appalled as the occupation forces and settler terrorist gangs continue a broad and systematic torture of Palestinian children, through detention, kidnapping, torture and murder. The absence of international accountability and action is what encourages the occupation state and the gangs to attempt to destroy the Palestinian people, rob them of their rights, and broadcast calls to kill them.

Addameer is demanding the United Nations and the High Contracting Parties of the four Geneva Conventions to act urgently to rein in the terrorist Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians and children and to hold the occupation state accountable for its war crimes and daily crimes against humanity committed against the Palestinian people.